Thursday, June 21, 2012

World's Best Job

Today I was in charge of small fry for the day. I started out with introducing her to one of my favorite hangouts for summer coffee. We met up with Uncle Sean and headed to the Brew Station.

I then drug her around on my errands. She kept me entertained with silly 7 year old humor. I kept her interested with the promise of a trip to the craft store when we were done. We have a new JoAnn's Fabric in town and it was amazing to go in there.

She picked out a small sewing kit and some really fun buttons for some fabric she had selected previously. With our newfound loot we went to the last stop of the day to get my tires rotated.

From the tire store we headed back home and waited for Mom to pick us up so we could all go to lunch together. We hit the new Pannera which was delicous. Then a swing back to Madeleines house pick up her fabric to start her projects.

However, a through check of the house did not yeild her fabric. Eventually a broken hearted small fry and I headed back to my place. Bound and determined to find a solution I began opening drawers at my house. It's no secret though that I'm not a crafty girl. I don't even own a sewing machine. However, up until February I did own a dog. A dog who loved Bandanas. What makes a perfect fabric swatch? A former dog bandana. So Small Fry was given a choice of a life time of dog accessories.

I'm so excited to see what it will look like when she is done!

All in all a most excellent day, and it's not over yet. We are headed for pedicures in just about an hour. A girls gotta do what a girls gotta do.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Hello Summer!

The calendar say it's still spring but at 11:12am today I turned in my checkout list, handed the boss man my ID and keys and officially moved out of my room.

Whether it's June 20th or not is irrelevant to me.

Hello Summer. Bring it!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Insights of Insomnia

The clock says 3:12 am. I stopped sleeping somewhere around 2:00. I need to be up in just over two hours but the sleep evades me even though I am exhausted. Today is the final day of this school year with the kids. It is the day I have wished for. Yet, it is with mixed emotions that I face the sunrise.

There is no doubt that this has been my most challenging year to date in terms of testing my resolve to be in this field. As I packed my students up yesterday and sent them home with their prize work of the year, I noted that this is not a group of forth graders. Yes there are a few shining stars, ready to take on the next chapter. Rather I am awake at 3:12 haunted by the majority who aren't yet ready. Those who still cannot complete an assignment, write a coherent paragraph or identify a trapezoid. There are those who still blurt, who fall out of chairs and who pop up out of their seats with every thought that enters their head. They are unaware of anyone else in the room. These are the kids whom I feel view school and me as something to tune in and out at will. I worry for them. I worry that I did not do enough, that they will fall further behind and get lost in the shuffle. I want to know that they will be ok, they will catch up and they will thrive. I hope that it is just 9 year old boys, not yet mature enough to take school seriously and opt for fun instead and that one day soon they will come into their own and be the shining lights that I'm used to seeing this time of year. I hope for them to be all they can be and I fear that I did not aid them in that venture.

This is also my last day on a team I love. After tomorrow I will no longer be in the hall of women I've grown to love, trust and rely on during those darkest of days and brilliant moments. I'm thrilled to try something new next year, but it isn't without a sense of loss and wonder if it will be as good as what I have now. Because kids and classes come and go, they can touch or break your heart, but they always move on. It's the work of the brilliant teachers around you who get you through the tough weeks and celebrate the moments of genius. I have spent the past three years with them day in and day out and I will miss them all dearly.

Perhaps these are the thoughts that my subconscious brain is really battling with that is keeping me awake this night. It's not my giddy excitement of a summer taunting me, but rather the close of a chapter and the potential of the unknown. I'm sure come the light of day things will seem more clear. My students will move on into most capable hands who can surely reach the ones I did not. My classroom space will be occupied by another and I will set up in my own new space. Maybe it too will eventually feel like home.

Regardless, I salute you my dear, dear friends. It has been an honor to be in Hall A. While I move along to Hall B now, I will always and forever be an A Hall at heart.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pinch Me?

There are one and a half school days left. I have to have my classroom packed up, my grades in, report cards stuffed, and files all managed by Friday at 4:00pm. Oh and did I mention that tomorrow night I can't work on any of it because I have to be at the 2.5 hour 8th grade promotion. Guess we are pretty proud that our kids made it through 8th grade. Nice..lower the expectations and they shall achieve. But I digress, back to my to-do list. This thought alone sent me into a complete panic attack right after the kids left today. How does one handle this? By going for a run. Problem is, I took the trail along the river that spent a good chunk of winter and spring flooded.

Not only did I have difficulty navigating the trail through the shoulder high grass, brambles and the three (yes, three) fallen trees across the path, but I remembered why I don't run this trail this time of year. The only thing that can grow under those conditions besides hypodermic needles (which seemed to be there as well), is stinging nettles. Oh that familiar first singe as your memory banks search for that familiar burn. What is that?? Oh crap!

So rather than drive myself back refreshed and ready to pack up my classroom, I drove myself home and tried to clean the burn off. I somehow even managed to get it on my face. Probably when I grabbed my leg in pain and got the oil on my hands. Needless to say I came home feeling pretty deflated.

What does one do when they feel all hope is lost? Check their grad final of course. May as well add insult to injury. Except for that one time in life when your professor who has ridden your ass all term with all kind of stupid stuff calls your work "impressive." What? I checked to make sure I had logged into my own account and hadn't hacked someone else by mistake. Further more, my cover letter and self reflection gleaned this "you should be a writer."

Whoa Nellie! Me? Like Samantha in Sixteen Candles I have the urge to look behind me and see if he is talking to someone else. Me? The person who just last term you shredded to bits and implied I had no business holding a pencil (or typing a stroke). In my defense, I knew it was good when I wrote it on Sunday. I didn't know it was that good though. Damn, that is one hell of a way to finish up my core classes.

I'd say pinch me, but I think the nettles already took care of that one.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

There it is!

The finish line is in sight. I can't barely make it out through the boxes and keystrokes and stacks of ungraded papers. It's there, just beyond the spring crazed children, the parents expectations and the obligatory celebrations. It's hard to see it through my blood-shot eyes from my swirling brain all night, but it's there.

I haven't seen this particular finish line in many years now. It's been out of rotation for a few years, but this year the finish line ends with....wait for it......Summer. I know right? You're thinking, duh lady. But what you don't know is that for the past 4 years I've busted my ass all summer long working on my Master's Degree so that I can keep teaching the rest of the year. So for me, Summer just meant more school. This year though I've got the Golden Ticket. There's nothing on my plate for work or grad school again until August. That's about 8 free weeks for me. I have no idea what the heck I'm going to do with time like that. With all the nervous energy that I've managed to spin to a fever pitch over the past trimester of hell, I'll probably manage to remodel the house by the end of June.

For now I concentrate on navigating the insanity that is my to-do list. Living this week all in the moment just to get through. I will keep looking at that finish line and plodding my way there. I guess I'll start by finishing up my grad class today. One baby step at a time.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Rockstar Antics

Why yes, that is Sean and I in a limo sipping champagne. We do it all the time. Well, we do it when we aren't doing this of course:

Sitting in the FRONT row of Hayward field watching the Prefontaine Meet doing this:

Cheering on world class athletes like this as they set new world records. Oh yeah and giving high 5's to the likes of LaShawn Merritt. It's important that we give them encouragement you know. A little pep talk from the Ross' is critical for a good performance for all athletes.

What's that you say? Oh, the Limo's ready for us to hop back in for our next adventure. Well, ok then. It is the life we lead, someone's gotta do it....